Lovers of the Rose: Islamic Affect and the Politics of Commemoration in Turkish Museal Display

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title = "Lovers of the Rose: Islamic Affect and the Politics of Commemoration in Turkish Museal Display",
abstract = "This chapter explores Hilye-i {\c S}erif, the calligraphic description of the Prophet Muhammad—and its significance in current Turkish politics. With roots in Ottoman literature, art and Prophet devotion, this genre is currently witnessing a striking artistic innovativeness. Under the theme of A{\c s}k-ı Nebi (Love for the Prophet), several public exhibitions have been organised within recent, state-run mevlid-festivals, commemorating the birth of the Prophet. Here, a recurring motif has been {\textquoteleft}the Rose of Muhammad{\textquoteright}, symbolically compounding Muhammad{\textquoteright}s human nature and prophethood. The calligraphic art hence is associated with devotional and mystic traditions. Bodily-masculine, floral-symbolic and textual-Quranic references creatively intersect in visual/devotional objects of memory, affect and desire. Concomitantly, the revival of calligraphic art carries political overtones. The exhibitions of devotional art have been orchestrated in central memory-sites such as Hagia Sophia and the Topkapı Palace Museum—contributing to the current sacralization of Turkish memory institutions and public-urban space. With a theoretical point of departure in new museology, nationalism, and memory studies, this chapter discusses the revitalisation of Turkish devotional art exhibition as part and parcel of a memory-political claim of the Ottoman heritage under the auspices of the AKP government. Empirically, it explores the broader political aspects of the museal-devotional landscape of Istanbul and probes into the textual and symbolic detail of contemporary Hilye-i {\c S}erif calligraphy. ",
author = "Torsten Janson",
year = "2021",
language = "English",
editor = "Raudvere, {Catharina }",
booktitle = "Heritage, Aesthetics and Belonging",
publisher = "Palgrave Macmillan",
address = "United Kingdom",